The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Thursday, distributed relief materials including food items to 4,000 victims of the recent flood disaster in Jalingo, the Taraba capital.

The Jalingo flood affected over 500 households and destroyed several farms.

Alhaji Habib Mustapha, Director General of the agency, while distributing the items to victims of the disaster in Jalingo, said that the gesture was to cushion the effect of the disaster on the victims.

Mustapha was represented by Mr Alli Kadiri, Head of Relief and Rehabilitation, NEMA’ Field Operation Office, Yola.

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He said more relief materials would be provided to the victims after an assessment of the disaster was conducted.

He said that the agency in response to the directive from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajia Sadiya Farouk was able to provide 21 relief items of both food and non-food items.

The director-general listed some of the items to include; mattresses, mats, blankets, beans, rice, and beverages among others.

He appealed to the beneficiaries not to view the gesture as compensation but as an emergency response to ameliorate their immediate suffering.

Mustapha urged residents of Jalingo not to build houses along waterways, to avoid such disasters.

“President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to respond quickly to the flood that hit Jalingo in recent time and caused wanton destruction of homes and farmlands, displacing many households in Jalingo.

“It is in line with the above directive that NEMA is carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the disaster, and will forward the report immediately for onward response from the Federal Government.

“We were also directed by the ministry to come along with some relief items as part of an emergency response which will cushion the effect of the disaster on the victims before the main thing will come.

“We are therefore appealing to the beneficiaries not to take the gesture as compensation but for them to ensure judicious use of the items pending when the federal government will act on the assessment report,” Mohammed said.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr David Saidu thanked the federal government for its quick response to the flood disaster.

Saidu said that the quick response by the government has given them hope as well as a sense of belonging that they are citizens of Nigeria.

According to him, the items will go a long way in reducing the hardship caused by the flood.

He, however, appealed to the government to assist victims of the disaster with building materials or funds that would enable some of them to rebuild their homes.

NAN

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